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10.07.19

NHS Confederation chief executive responds to King's Fund quarterly report

NHS Confederation chief executive, Niall Dickson CBE, has responded to the quarterly report published by the King's Fund, calling for further investment in key areas.

The King's Fund's Quarterly Monitoring Report, which was created with analysis of NHS performance data and a survey of NHS trust finance directors, looked to assess the prospects for the NHS as it enters the first year of the new five-year funding deal.

The most recent published report found that despite the £20bn increase in funding from government, the NHS was still facing substantial financial pressure in some areas.

READ MORE: NHS needs ‘sustainable’ funding from next government – King’s Fund

Mr Dickson was keen to highlight despite the negatives in the report, there were positives to be taken, saying: “After a decade of austerity in the NHS we cannot expect to recover performance on waiting times and eradicate deficits overnight.

“The good news is that the NHS is treating more patients than ever before and staff have made real progress in reducing waiting times for patients waiting more than a year. These are considerable achievements given the funding and staffing constraints the NHS has been operating with."

READ MORE: King's Fund: Mismatch in demand and funding has caused ‘unprecedented’ NHS pressures

However, as the tone of the report suggested, there was a need for further investment to ensure that the healthcare service kept working to the level and standard it sought to.

He added: "This sobering report shows how far we need to go to get back to the performance levels the NHS was delivering five years ago. We know the scale of the challenge ahead is significant.

"We have the right vision for the future of the NHS but we need investment in key areas that fall outside of the £20 billion funding settlement. Unless the incoming Prime Minister delivers on capital investment, training and education budgets, public health and unless we finally get a long-term settlement for social care, then the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan will be jeopardised.”

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